Conference Program

*This program is still under development and will be subject to change. 


8:00am - 3:45pm | Tours

Tours are not included in the registration

Taking the World by Ice Storm

8:45am – 2:30pm

Hensall, Ontario is not exactly the hub of industry in North America, but time after time, customers contact this progressive company based in a small town in the heart of southwestern Ontario. Welcome to Iceculture!

As a leading innovator in the ice sculpture industry, their technicians are constantly pushing the limits of their craft.

Come witness their expertise as these icy marvels take shape under the hands of technicians working to fill international orders for sculptures to adorn major events worldwide.

To conclude, a lunch will be served at Eddington’s of Exeter with a presentation by James Eddington – Top 30 Under 30 Chef award winner and BIA President, representing over 200 businesses; and Paul Nichols, General Manager at Community Futures Huron.

They will be discussing how Community Futures Huron and the BIA successfully create on-going strategic plans to help develop Exeter and the greater region as a full-service gateway to Ontario’s west coast.

Price of the tour: $60 pp (40 people max)

Location: Hensall, ON (50min north of London)

Local Food Culture – Sustainability

8:00am – 3:45pm

Taste and experience, the flavours of Oxford as you day-cruise through the county in comfort with Ride the Bine.

Oxford County, known for its rich agricultural history, was proud to adopt the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan in 2014, which highlighted ways to foster sustainability through local food culture.

Passionate and knowledgeable guides will share stories of the region along with local food producers as they outline the implementation of the plan in their businesses.

Upon arrival, locally roasted small batch coffee awaits you at the Fusion Centre, as you learn about their youth initiative – which focuses on empowering Oxford youth to make positive changes within the community.

Following, you will have the chance to savour artisan delicacies at Chocolatea; taste some local brews at the Brickhouse along with a decadent lunch inspired by Oxford Fresh; and tour an artisan cheese facility, that has a unique partnership with Greener Pastures Eco Farm.

Lunch will be accompanied by a guest speaker from Future Oxford, set to enlighten us on how the distinct actions set out by the Sustainability Plan have fostered the county’s shared vision to live off Oxford’s environmental and economic resources, while creating growth and communal well-being.

Price of the tour: $125 pp (42pp max)

Location: Oxford County

Catching Live Shrimp in Elgin County!

8:30am – 11:30am

CFDC Innovation Award Winner of 2018, Planet Shrimp, invites you to visit their innovative facilities located in Elgin County.

Known for creating the “Perfect Seafood Without the Sea”, Planet Shrimp overcomes their land-locked limitations and is conquering the seafood market with premium pacific white shrimp. Committed to responsible social, economic and environmental standards and practices, they produce quality shrimp that is pure and eco-friendly.

Featured on the Marilyn Dennis Show with Chef Hughes preparing Planet Shrimp’s “Savoury Spring Grilled Shrimp”, they have thrived by using primarily local trades people and process equipment that is custom built and engineered on site.

You will see their shrimp production process up close and have your taste buds delighted by samples of their mouth-watering shrimp, provided and sponsored by Elgin Business Resource Centre, who will also be providing a tour of the Elgin Innovation Centre.

The Innovation Centre is situated on 1M sq.ft. of revitalized property – what was once an abandoned tobacco plant is now a thriving supportive business centre for entrepreneurs just opening their doors or expanding their business.

Price of the visit: FREE! (40 people max)

Location: Aylmer

Growing London’s Youth

1:00pm – 3:30pm

Greenhouse Academy was conceived from the need for practical learning opportunities, environmental stewardship and community building.

Their mission focuses on harnessing passion and merging the functions of social enterprise, education and business basics. They believe when combined, these opportunities will build skills that give students the chance to be empowered and work ready.

They believe student success stems from these experiences that empower, inspire and nurture financial literacy and seek to foster this through their program.

A visit here will include a tour of the nurseries and will focus on how bridging the generation gap through involving the youth, emphasizing collaboration and bettering the environment can be merged to better the community as a whole.

Price.  $10 pp (40 people max)

Location: Thorndale

Tour Alternative: Community Futures Leadership Institute Board Training

1:00pm – 4:30pm

If you prefer to opt out of going on one of the tours, this is for you!

Consider taking a Community Futures Leadership Institute course in the comfort of Innovation Works (10-minute walk from the Convention Centre)

Module 1 – Community Economic Development and the Role of Planning

This module encompasses the objectives and obstacles of Community Economic Development (CED) with the goal of gaining an in depth understanding of the following:

  • the key differences between CED and other approaches to economic and community development
  • the role of strategic planning as part of a strategic management cycle
  • the role of the Board in planning process for Community Futures and the community itself

There is a limit of 25 people for this session so register early if this interests you!

Price: $100 pp (25 people max)

Location: Collaboration Station room in the Innovation Works London (201 King St., London)

5:00pm - 5:30pm | Community Futures Ontario AGM
5:30pm - 6:30pm | Reception
6:30pm - 8:00pm | Dinner
8:00pm - 9:00pm | Awards Ceremony

Celebration of SuccessEveryone is invited!

Join us in celebrating the 26th Annual Community Futures Ontario Awards and the 20th Anniversary of CCEDNet.

We welcome you to celebrate our successes together as we recognize our accomplishments and get a chance to meet each other and our guest speakers.

This gala event will feature a live performance and a divinely prepared gourmet dinner.

We can’t wait to see you there!


7:00am - 8:00am | Sunrise Ceremony/Meditation
8:30am - 10:00am | Breakfast & Plenary Session
10:00am - 12:30pm | Concurrent Sessions
12:30pm - 2:00pm | Lunch & Plenary Session
2:00pm - 5:00pm | Concurrent Sessions
5:00pm - 7:00pm | Dinner Out on the Town
7:00pm - 10:00pm | Evening Social and/or Cultural Activities


7:00am - 8:00am | Sunrise Ceremony/Meditation
8:30am - 10:00am | Breakfast & Plenary Session
10:00am - 12:30pm | Peer Learning Breakout Groups
12:30pm - 2:30pm | Lunch and Closing Plenary